The Spring season is upon us, and many consider this a time for new beginnings. Some people spring clean, others plant gardens. Some people celebrate a marriage, others have babies. But what if you decided to declutter your life this spring? Go beyond the physical and declutter your digital and mental life too. Now is your chance to do something that improves your life in many ways.
Why Should You Declutter This Spring?
A messy home and life will cost you money and time. A misplaced bill can cause late fees. Wasted food means wasted money. Missing clothes can lead to buying duplicates. Lost keys can make you late for work and lower productivity. If you take some time to declutter, you won’t spend much time looking for missing clothes or lost keys. As you save money and time, you will see more positive results will occur from decluttering.
You will have a more positive mood and an increase in productivity. Princeton University found that clutter wants your attention. As a result, the clutter competition increases stress and decreases productivity. Also, Yale University discovered that the anterior cingulate cortex and insula react when you get rid of your belongings. This is the same part of the brain that reacts when you feel physical pain. Decluttering is not an easy task, but if you plan, you can get the job done.
Like your work projects, planning goes a long way when you want to achieve success. Before you delete files and throw things away, you need to plan your declutter process.
Take a few minutes to visualize how you want your life to look. Do you want your bedroom to look a certain way? How do you want to organize your docs folder to look on your MacBook? Figure out what you want so you will have more motivation to declutter.
After you visualize, you need to set goals to achieve your desired results. Make sure your goals stick to the end results. We recommend setting SMART goals so that you can manage and track your goals with ease.
Change starts with you. You have to commit to decluttering. This may seem like a given, but people often overlook the basics. If you don’t want to declutter your life, then stop reading this. If you do, then you’re on the right track. We’re happy you’re taking the initiative.
Schedule Your Decluttering
Put it on your calendar. You wouldn’t miss a doctor’s appointment or a work meeting. Treat decluttering as an appointment. Avoid the marathon by scheduling decluttering on a daily or weekly basis. You won’t declutter your life in one day unless you enjoy the burn-out feeling.
Ways to Declutter Your Life
Declutter One Room At A Time
Schedule one room at a time when you make appointments. You might have to schedule several appointments for one room. If you focus on one room at a time, you will feel less overwhelmed. Make sure you set goals for each room. For digital clutter, focus on one area at a time. Clean up your email one day; then the next day clear your desktop.
Content is everywhere these days, and it competes for our attention. How many pages or social profiles do you follow? Reduce the amount social feeds you follow by deleting the ones you no longer view. Get more selective of who you follow on social media. Unsubscribe from email lists and newsletters that take up space in your inbox. Delete apps that you haven’t touched in weeks. If you need to, turn off notifications on your phone so don’t feel bombarded with content every five minutes.
Clear Flat Surfaces
It’s much easier for humans to see everything in front of them. We’re visual creatures. Hence why we have piles of mail, bills, and junk on our flat surfaces. This is where your vision comes in. You must clear everything off flat surfaces such as your desk, shelf, and counter. Don’t stuff the clutter in your drawers either. Find a home for things that use to rest on the flat surfaces.
To cut clutter try the one-in, one-out rule. For every new item you buy, you must discard an old item. Buy a new shirt, then toss, sell, or donate an old shirt. Same goes for magazines, kitchenware, books, or any household item. When you shop, you should think about what you currently own. Remember if you buy an item from the store, you will have to throw away something you currently own. You can adjust this rule depending on the amount of clutter in your home (ex. one-in, two-out).
Sort Your Files And Mail
We could have included this into building habits, but sorting your files is crucial. Collect all the files around your home. Whatever is important you keep then archive. Then shred and recycle whatever is useless. When you go through the mail immediately get rid of junk, then archive what is important. Another great way to cut clutter is to receive eBills and eDocuments. Delete all digital files that have no purpose on your computer. After you do this step, you should take a break.
Do you ever make too many promises? Schedule one too many meetings? To clear your mental clutter only make promises you can keep. Have a more flexible schedule if possible. Rank your plans and appointments by importance. Of course, your family and loved ones come first, then focus on work.
Locate four boxes and label each one: Keep, Sell/Donate, Storage, and Trash. Keep includes items you use on a daily basis. Sell/Donate includes things you can part with and sell or give to charity. Storage includes items you cannot part with but do not use on a regular basis. Trash includes items that have no use or in your home. Make sure you don’t include broken items or items with missing pieces in the “sell/donate” box. In the digital realm you know what files you need, so delete all that matter.
Make A Home
Choose a home for items you use on a daily or weekly basis. Homes could include a bookshelf, a drawer, a filing cabinet, or a wall-mounted shelf. For your phone, keys, and wallet, a tray by the foyer or in your room will work fine. Every related item should have a home in the same area. Keep all your cleaning supplies under the sink or on the same shelf in your closet. Have your necessary digital files filed under the same folder or in the same group.
Let Stuff Go
Stay practical through the decluttering. Our society has an emotional attachment to products, so this may challenge you. As you declutter, determine what things you use every day. If you only use things once a month you might want to throw it away. If an item serves no purpose in your life, you must let it go. You already committed to decluttering, don’t let your emotions prevent you reaching success.
Find ways to manage your organization, so you don’t have to repeat the same burden. For example, after you read your mail, file what is necessary and immediately throw away the junk. Put your dishes in the dishwasher immediately after your meal. Hang your coats up after you enter your home. Always put your dirty clothes in a hamper after you take them off. There’s many declutter habits to bring into your life. Figure out which ones work best for you. Remember, healthy habits, healthy mind.